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What You Need to Know About Phantom Flushes

What You Need to Know About Phantom Flushes

There’s a phenomenon known as “ghost flushing” that occasionally happens to home toilets — they start making flushing sounds all on their own! This can be surprising and a little annoying when it happens in the middle of the night or starts happening once or twice a day. In addition to wasting water, it’s also indicating a problem with your toilet. Here’s what is going on, and how you can stop these ghost flushes in their tracks. What’s Going On First, don’t be alarmed. Nothing is alive in your tank, or climbing up and pulling the handle. This flushing is entirely an internal problem. Inside the average house toilet, the tank is closed off from its water source with a valve that’s covered by a round flapper. This flapper is pulled open whenever you flush by moving the handle so that the toilet tank can refill for next time. It’s a simple system, but it works! Usually. Sometimes, the flapper or the chain that connects it to the handle experiences problems, especially problems with sealing the valve properly. In this case, the flapper can suddenly pop open and let a leak escape. This drains water from the toilet over time, which then refills due to movement of the float, and ultimately, it sounds like your toilet is trying to flush itself. How It’s Happening Flappers get old. It happens. When their seal breaks down, all it takes is a small leak for the tank full of water to push the flapper open and drain out all the water and flush itself. This tends to happen at least several hours after...
Why is My Hot Water Running Out So Fast?

Why is My Hot Water Running Out So Fast?

Has your hot water started turning cold? Does it seem like your hot water just isn’t lasting long enough anymore? After checking to make sure no one is taking extra-long showers, it’s time to consider other causes. Here’s why water heaters suddenly become stingy with their hot water. Your Tank is Too Small This often happens after a major renovation or if you just moved into a new home. Hot water tanks vary based on how many gallons they can hold or keep heated. If your tank is smaller than your current needs, you will find that you run out of hot water too quickly and may need a tank upgrade. Keep in mind that switching to a tankless water heater also takes some getting used to, and if you now have a tankless (or solar powered) model, it may be operating differently compared to a traditional water heater. New Appliances are Causing Issues Do you have any new appliances that are suddenly demanding more hot water? Some of these appliances can be quite obvious, like a new tub with hot water jets — those can take up a lot of hot water sometimes, and cut down on the water available for everyone else. Other appliances are more subtle, like a new showerhead that allows more water to flow through and decreases the hot water in your tank much more quickly. You Could Have Sediment Build-Up Sediment that is distilled from water tends to accumulate in hot water tanks over time. In older tanks, sediment can build-up; sometimes, there is so much build-up that it keeps the tank from holding the...